We live in an Age of Individuality where it seems that every single person on the planet is looking to impose their will upon the world, all jostling and bashing into each other with only the most wilful succeeding in achieving their goal.

Yet anyone who has travelled any distance along any kind of spiritual path (such as the Ascension process that some Highly Sensitive People are experiencing) encounters the strange feeling that there is something they are ‘supposed’ to be doing, which sometimes clashes with—or even downright conflicts with—the goal-oriented approach of those seeking to apply their personal will.

This ‘supposed to be doing’ has traditionally been called divine will. In New Age terminology it is often called the will of the higher self or the soul. (In Classical times terms like ‘soul’ had precise meanings but these have become blurred in modern usage.)

Mission

Regardless of terminology, this ‘supposed to be doing’—I’ll call it divine will for simplicity—manifests as a deep sense of mission that transcends the often self-centric objectives of personal will. Divine will usually involves service to others or to the planet. It is often sensed as a frustratingly vague desire that is difficult to bring into focus and act upon with any certainty.

It is tempting to look upon the shift from personal to divine will as a simple act of surrender—relinquishing the ego-based personal will and allowing its divine counterpart to simply take over. It doesn’t work that way.

It is tempting to look upon the shift from personal to divine will as a simple act of surrender—relinquishing the ego-based personal will and allowing its divine counterpart to simply take over. It doesn’t work that way.

In Christian circles there is a saying, ‘Jesus make of me what you will’. Adherents pray devoutly for divine will to strike them like a lightning rod, filling them with zeal and direction—yet it never seems to happen. Depressingly, the only other option seems to be a return to the more mundane concerns of personal will.

The dance

This is where the dance between personal and divine will begins. Surrender is required, but it’s not that straightforward as surrender has two forms—passive and active.

Passive surrender is the ‘Jesus make of me what you will’ example given above. It involves a genuine desire to allow divine will to express itself in our lives, yet it doesn’t involve any risk-taking on our parts. We sit around waiting for a sign from heaven that simply never arrives, leaving us doubtful and disillusioned.

Active surrender, on the other hand, is a deliberate choice to break the status quo—whether that’s in out own lives or in wider society. For divine will always involves change. If we are not willing to be the change—i.e. the agent of change—then divine will has no use for us.

Tests

In my experience the conscious invocation of divine will leads to some kind of situation that tests our willingness to step out of our comfort zones, burn our bridges and make change happen. Pass that test and divine will descends—but only after we’ve gone through the scary process of breaking through some kind of barrier without knowing what the outcome will be.

The more we do this, the more powerfully and reliably divine will begins to operate in our lives. The dance becomes like the Sailor’s Hornpipe, accelerating to breakneck speed as it proceeds. Divine will is a hard master, but the rewards of learning to master the steps of its dance are great.

Photo by Bruce Christianson on Unsplash